“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” ( 1 Thessalonians 2: 11-12)
Fathers, many of us have been blessed with daughters. I can remember a time a few years ago when I had only boys. My life during that time was tans and browns and Boy Scouts. I recall I could easily listen to the words of “Butterfly Kisses” and “Cinderella” and not start to get misty eyed. Then something amazing happened: God blessed me with the gift of a little girl. Now let me pause and say that those of you with little girls will understand the special bond that develops between a father and his little girl. From the moment we first lay eyes on them our hearts are bound with them forever. That special power that they somehow know comes from the words “Daddy Please” and our inability to listen to the songs I listed earlier. Recently, God blessed us again with three more little girls. With this blessing came the realization of the burden that I would now bear. I realized the way that I interacted with these precious little ones was important in so many ways. The way we live our lives as fathers is laying the ground work for what type of man their future husband will be. We are setting the example of what a Godly husband and father should look like. If we are absent and missing from their lives..this is the model that we are laying out for their future. Talk about responsiblity. Do our actions mirror the person that we would want to walk down the aisle and pass her hand too one day? Take a few moments and think about that.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
When it comes to our Sons, we are on a similar road as our daughters. I remember when my boys were born. I had such plans: hiking, camping, fishing, just being men. Teaching them the things they would need to make their way in the world. Showing them the key things that at that time I thought defined being a man. The thought never crossed my mind at that point of the job I had ahead of me. Over time God has shown me that there is so much more than what the world defines as being a man. We have been tasked with being the model of a Godly father to these young boys. That is our reality. That is the role that God has laid before us. I realized that this was the key time for me to stop and to look in the mirror. To take the time to really look and see who and what was looking back. Dad, that image is what our boys are seeing in us. Are we fulfilling the God-given role of being the spiritual leaders of the home? Do we mirror Christ in our daily walk? Are there times that we treat Gods word as something for church time on Sunday only? All these things the little eyes are taking in. Not only do we need to teach them the “Man” things (hunting, repairs, and sports) we are also setting the example of what they should be when they reach manhood. What is it to be a Godly father in the home? I have to say these are the things that sometimes keep me awake at night. Jesus was clear when he said:
“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Luke 17:2)
We all need to take some time out of our day and hug those wonderful, beautiful gifts from God. We only have them for such a short span of time. We need to remember that when all is said and done they are Gods children not ours. Just as we are his children they are His also. He has given us the blessing and the responsibility of caring for and bringing these children up to follow Christ. Let’s ask ourselves, “how are we fulfilling this God ordained task”? Do we do as Deuteronomy says and teach them Gods word through our teaching, actions, and lives? Or do we demonstrate the worldly view of the earthly father? I would never dare to say that I have all the answers. The Lord knows that I am a work in progress. However, God knows the path. When in doubt go to the Father, cling to His word. Reach out to Him in prayer and trust in the divine plan that He has laid out.
To be continued: